Talk:Wheelchair rugby gets underway at London Paralympics

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Journalist notes[edit]

PDF Files[edit]

Pool Phase Group A USA v GB.pdfSWE - BEL Wheelchair Rugby.pdfMixed - Pool Phase Group A Results USA.pdf Mixed - Pool Phase Group B Results BEL.pdfMixed - Pool Phase Group B First Half.pdfJapan vs France Wheelchair Rugby.pdf 2012-09-06 wheelchair rugby media guides.pdf

Team USA roster[edit]

Name Status Sport Class Date of Birth Club AOKI Chuck CNF 3.0 07 Mar 1991 Tucson Pterodactyls COHN Andy

2.0 03 Feb 1978 Sharp Edge COHN Chad

1.0 12 Aug 1983 Tucson Pterodactyls DELAGRAVE Joe

2.0 21 Mar 1985 Phoenix Fusion GROULX Will

2.0 11 Mar 1974 Portland Pounders HELTON Derrick

2.0 05 Nov 1985 Tucson Pterodactyls HOGSETT Scott

1.0 16 Oct 1972 Phoenix Fusion McBRIDE Seth

2.0 26 Feb 1983 Portland Pounders REGIER Jason

0.5 08 Feb 1975 Denver Harlequins SCATURRO Adam

1.5 04 Dec 1978 Denver Harlequins SPRINGER Nick

2.0 09 Jun 1985 Phoenix Fusion SUMNER Chance

3.0 30 Jan 1977 Phoenix Fusion CNF - Confirmed ENT - Entered M - Male F - Female

Team GBR roster[edit]

WHEELCHAIR RUGBY As of 05 Sep 2012 GBR - Great Britain Name Status Sport Class Date of Birth Club ANTHONY David CNF 2.5 18 Dec 1989 South Wales Pirates BARROW Andy

2.0 20 Aug 1979 Kent Crusaders BROWN Steve

2.0 02 Jun 1981 Kent Crusaders COGGAN Jonathan

0.5 25 Apr 1983 Stoke Mandeville Storm GRIMES Kylie

0.5 07 Dec 1987 Kent Crusaders HUSSAIN Bulbul

1.0 03 Jan 1972 Kent Crusaders KERR Mike

1.5 13 Oct 1982 North East Bulls MORRISON Ross

2.5 22 Jun 1979 Stoke Mandeville Storm PEARSON Myles

1.5 15 Mar 1993 West Coast Crash PHIPPS Aaron

3.5 07 Apr 1983 South Wales Pirates SEHMI Mandip

2.5 13 Dec 1980 Stoke Mandeville Storm


Legend CNF - Confirmed ENT - Entered M - Male F - Female 13:29:17 5 Sep 2012

Players, coaches bring a woman's touch to wheelchair rugby[edit]

Players, coaches bring a woman's touch to wheelchair rugby

Wednesday, 05 September 2012 - 08:42

LONDON, 5 September - Wheelchair rugby is a mixed sport, with men and women eligible to play on the same team. The London 2012 Paralympic Games will be a tale of two women, as two teams, Belgium and Great Britain, have fielded one female player each, and who will bring a woman's touch to a sport notorious for its speed and aggression.


But fielding a female player can give a team an advantage, as women play half a point under their given classification, meaning the four players on court that include a woman would amount to 10 points instead of the usual maximum number of eight points a team's members must total, according to their functional classification.


Belgium's Bieke KETELBUTERS is no stranger to high-level, competitive ball games. As a former physical education teacher, the 38-year-old also played basketball in the Belgian second division.


"After my accident I wanted to carry on taking part in sports, but as a tetraplegic there aren't so many sports you can play. I always preferred team sports, but I couldn't play wheelchair basketball," she explains, as that sport favours more functional athletes.


"Then I found wheelchair rugby in 2005 and have been playing for the Belgian team, Flemish Lions, ever since."


This will be her first Paralympics, and she appears undaunted both by the opportunity to participate in the world's second largest sporting event, and competing in a male-dominated game.


"It was a huge surprise being selected for the team. I am very excited and happy to have the chance to compete here. It's a unique experience. I'm like one of the guys, and they always make sure they involve me in everything. It's OK being the only woman on the team. They support me and accept that I'm not as strong as them."


Her only wish is that more women would take up the sport.


"In Germany there are a lot of female players, but not really anywhere else. I'm just not sure there are as many women tetraplegics; even when I was in rehab I was the only woman, so maybe it's a numbers thing.


"I think more people should give it a try, not just women. There are 11 million Belgians but only 14 wheelchair rugby players, so I'm sure there are more people out there.


"It would be great to play in an all-woman line-up and see what we could do against a male line-up. The extra two points would make it really interesting," she says.


Great Britain's Kylie GRIMES claims to not even notice the gender difference while playing with the British team, which will be going all-out for a medal at London 2012 after never having finished above fourth place at a Paralympics.


"I don't really notice it. I don't know any other way, even at club level there are very few female players. And it doesn't bother me at all. Even at team meetings the others still say things like 'come on boys'. I really don't mind," the 24-year-old says.


"Girls do come along and have a go. But maybe they're deterred by the fact that there's mainly men there and it's clearly an aggressive sport. It's also probably because there just aren't as many tetraplegic females at this age. It could just be a numbers thing.


"I would love to see more women in the sport. In fact, I'd love to see what an all-woman line-up could do. We could play with an extra two points on court. Could you imagine that? I'd love to see it.


"I've always been into aggressive sports. I played rugby before my injury and was never really attracted to sports like netball. I enjoy the testosterone-side of sports like this."


Also playing in her first Paralympics, GRIMES is raring to go, and her team will enjoy the boost of the home crowd support for one of the most popular sports among spectators in the Paralympics.


"A year ago I wasn't even in the squad. It's crazy. The support is mad and I'm absolutely loving that. But I'm just taking it all in my stride. The huge crowds don't seem to affect me, I'm still here to do a job."


Belgium's female coach, Pascale WOUTERS (BEL), mentors KETELBUTERS and led the Belgian team to a gold medal at the 2009 European championships.


She says: "It is nice to have a girl on the team as it brings something else to our play. For our team, though, it will not affect our classification, as we don't play with a classification of more than 7 or 7.5 with a full squad, but we will aim to develop that post-Games."


Despite not having any female players competing on their team, Sweden have a female assistant coach, Therese WAMFORS (SWE).


Great Britain will kick off the London 2012 wheelchair rugby tournament in the opening match against USA at 14:00 on Wednesday 5 September at Basketball Arena, while Belgium's opening game is against Sweden at 16:15.



PNS acr/ac/pok/npb

Battlelines drawn in wheelchair rugby as USA seek to defend their gold[edit]

Battlelines drawn in wheelchair rugby as USA seek to defend their gold

Tuesday, 04 September 2012 - 18:37

LONDON, 4 September - Wheelchair rugby kicks off on Wednesday with all eight participating teams playing in their respective group A and B preliminary matches. In the opening match, defending gold medallists USA will be on a collision course with Great Britain, whose highest placing in a Paralympics is fourth.

European champions Sweden face an experienced Belgian squad, Beijing silver medallists Australia play the bronze medallists Canada, and Japan, who may prove to be the tournament's dark horse, will face first-timers France. The action begins at 14:00 at Basketball Arena.

United States v Great Britain

Great Britain will be hoping home advantage spurs them on as they begin their quest for an elusive Paralympic medal against world No.1 USA. Both teams are known for their strong, even line-ups. USA have the luxury of fielding four 2-point players, but GBR's 2.5, 2, 2 and 1.5 line-up are confident, with newly groomed Aaron PHIPPS (GBR) likely to be a useful impact player.

The recent return of Chuck AOKI (USA) and Derrick HELTON (USA) from hand injuries gives USA coach Jomes GUMBERT (USA) welcome options. Experienced players Ross MORRISON (GBR) and Andy BARROW (GBR) know the USA team very well, and their cool heads and quick reactions will be needed in what may prove to be GBR's toughest game of the tournament.

Sweden v Belgium

Despite being European champions, Sweden have shown poor form of late. Sweden coach Benoit LABRECQUE (CAN) took over the reins at the end of 2011 and has been putting systems in place which he believes will win them a medal. Favouring a high-low (3.5, 3.5, 0.5, 0.5) line-up, combining the strength and speed of Per-Johan UHLMANN and the strong vision and distribution of Tobias SANDBERG, Sweden will be confident they can take on a Belgian team which lacks depth.

But Belgium have hugely experienced players in player-coach Bob VANACKER, Peter GENYN and Lars MERTENS, who recently returned from a hugely beneficial season playing in the USA league. They play for the same club team and train together at least once a week, and must not be written off at this early stage in the competition.

Australia v Canada

Canada will be looking to chalk up their first win against Australia in more than three years. But any team fielding Ryley BATT (AUS) will not be easy opponents. Canada also have their own 3.5 player, Zak MADELL (CAN), who at 18 is the youngest player in the tournament and starting to prove a handful to others. He will need the likes of the experienced Jared FUNK (CAN) and David WILLSIE (CAN) around him to steady his nerves, and will be unlikely to make much of an impact just yet.

Canada's depth allows them to continually roll their substitutions, making Australia regularly alter their line-up. But the new pairing of BATT and fellow 3.5 player Chris BOND (AUS) is coming along nicely and could prove to be too aggressive for Canada.

Japan v France

France have only had a wheelchair rugby team for five years, and are seen as the tournament minnows. But they have come a long way in a short time and a French-orchestrated upset in London is not out of the question. They tend to rely heavily on Riadh SALLEM (FRA), due to his expert chair skills resulting from 19 years on the national wheelchair basketball squad.

Japan have their own skilful chair mover, Daisuke IKEZAKI, who was instrumental in beating the USA at the Canada Cup in June, and he and his team will be wanting to prove that was no fluke. Japan will need this win to compete for a top-two pool finish with the USA and Great Britain.

PNS ac/acr/co/sw

Drive and ambition pay off for debut wheelchair rugby Paralympian KERR (GBR)[edit]

Drive and ambition pay off for debut wheelchair rugby Paralympian KERR (GBR)

Wednesday, 05 September 2012 - 08:38

LONDON, 5 September - Drive and determination have paid off for Great Britain wheelchair rugby player Mike KERR, who will be making his Paralympic Games debut at London 2012, where his presence is living proof of the old adage 'if at first you don't succeed, try again'.

KERR is no newcomer to the game, having been on Great Britain's long squad since 2006, when he made his team debut at a tournament in Birmingham, Alabama, USA.

Despite attending training camps, KERR was not selected for the Great Britain team at subsequent international tournaments, including the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, the 2007 and 2009 European championships and the world championships in 2010. Great Britain coach Tom O'CONNOR also overlooked KERR when he sent five developing players to an intensive training camp in Florida, USA, for eight weeks in early 2011, favouring 1.5 player Matt SULLIVAN (GBR).

"The coach came to my house once and told me I was his fourth-choice 1.5 (player). I felt like throwing in the towel several times, but I always had faith in my ability. I knew I could compete with the best," KERR says.

KERR decided if the coach was not going to take him to tournaments, he would travel to them himself.

"I felt I'd never been given a chance to get noticed, so I got myself some court time at big tournaments like Knock and Roll in 2010 (a USA national tournament) and Bernd Best (the biggest wheelchair rugby tournament in the world, held in Germany). I played well and I think people finally took notice."

It seemed to work. O'CONNOR invited him to train with the Great Britain squad in April 2011 and KERR played in friendly scrimmage sessions against Finland that month, and against Canada in August 2011. It was Canada which opened O'CONNOR's eyes to KERR's talent.

O'CONNOR said: "Around Beijing (2008), Mike was the fourth-choice 1.5. I had Jason ROBERTS (GBR) and Steve PALMER (GBR) at the time, who were both great players, as well as SULLIVAN, who we took to Florida."

"But when I saw KERR play against Canada (in August 2011) and he was so clinical, he did absolutely everything asked of him. That was the turning point for me. I knew from then I had to have him on my team."

The coach selected KERR for the European 2011 championships, where the team won a silver medal, and was picked as part of the London 2012 team in May.

KERR quickly made himself indispensible and is now the team's vice captain.

"I think the passion I play with shows the role I play in this team. I always approach training firing on all cylinders. I'm not afraid to speak up and say what I think. I believe it's good to have someone like that in a squad," he says.

Now he's here in London, KERR is raring to go after waiting nearly a week since the Opening Ceremony for his first game, against the USA on Wednesday, 5 September.

He says: "It's hard. I hate waiting around. I'm here to do a job and the sooner I get started the better. But it's been a great experience so far. The crowd and support have been amazing."

And he believes Great Britain have got what it takes to beat the best team in the world.

"I'm really confident. We took confidence from how we played against them at the Canada Cup (in June). If we play our game we can shock them."

Great Britain play USA in the first game of the London 2012 wheelchair rugby tournament, at 14:00 at the Basketball Arena on Wednesday 5 September.

PNS ac/acr/npb

Wheelchair rugby: assistant coach PATE (USA)[edit]

Wheelchair rugby: assistant coach PATE (USA)

Tuesday, 04 September 2012 - 16:37

LONDON, 4 September - Comments from USA wheelchair rugby assistant coach James PATE (USA) after a training session at Basketball Arena on Tuesday.

James PATE (USA) - assistant coach

On the venue, Basketball Arena: "It is an amazing venue. We were feeling confident and part of that comes from having an awesome venue. When the games start tomorrow (Wednesday) the crowd will add a new dimension."

On competing at the Paralympics: "I was a spectator at Sydney and on the sidelines in Beijing, so I am used to the competition. There is some pressure on us as champions but we will use that to our benefit. We will have to carry that pressure, but the team is ready."

On Tuesday's training session: "We used today to get used to the venue and to look at how things are going to work. We have five new guys on the team for these Games. The experience in the team will help a great amount, but the energy of the younger guys will be a real advantage."

On facing Great Britain on Wednesday 5 September: "To be truthful we have played the home team a couple of times, but you have to play the game in that moment and it can give the hosts the edge."

"In Beijing, Great Britain gave us our best game, and the semifinal was a three-goal game. We had something similar in June (at the Canada Cup)."

"They (Great Britain) play some like us and some like Canada, and are one of the teams that have a lot of good players, so we can't focus on just one player, but on the team as a whole."

PNS pok/acr/sw

Schedule[edit]

Live!! Start Date/Time Event Status Location Start List PDF Results PDF Reports My Schedules WED 05 - 14:00 Mixed - Pool Phase Group A United States vs Great Britain Official Basketball Arena Start List Results Reports Add WED 05 - 16:15 Mixed - Pool Phase Group B Sweden vs Belgium Official Basketball Arena Start List Results Reports Add Live Icon WED 05 - 19:00 Mixed - Pool Phase Group B Australia vs Canada Running Basketball Arena Start List Results Reports Add WED 05 - 21:15 Mixed - Pool Phase Group A Japan vs France Scheduled Basketball Arena Start List Reports Add

Results[edit]

Using this as easiest.

5 Sep Mixed Wheelchair Rugby - Pool Phase Group A Japan Japan 65 - 56 France France › 5 Sep Mixed Wheelchair Rugby - Pool Phase Group B Australia Australia 64 - 52 Canada Canada › 5 Sep Mixed Wheelchair Rugby - Pool Phase Group B Sweden Sweden 52 - 42 Belgium Belgium › 5 Sep Mixed Wheelchair Rugby - Pool Phase Group A United States United States 56 - 44 Great Britain Great Britain


Flag bearers[edit]

hickling for Canada and Greg Smith for Australia were both flag bearers for their countries during the opening ceremonies. This was mentioned in the interview with Smith and Duncan. Smith interview in JWS and Duncan on Commons. Maybe also in that article about Canada press conference.

Match notes USA v GBE[edit]

When they said the first team is the USA, there were a few boos. When GB was announced, there was a roar inside the arena.

Sport debuted in 1996 as demonstration sport. In 2000, full medal sport. USA beat Australia in that first match.

NBC has a reporter but wearing E accreditation, not Rights Broadcasting accreditation.

GB is ranked 6th in the world. They are deafening fans screaming as they entered.

USA introduced and things get quiet.

One pom has blue hair. The female team member has white hair.

This event was the first one at the Paralympics to completely sell out.

Announcer mentioned the female and the crowd went absolutely berserk and Grimes looked rather embarrassed.

Seriously, when they asked who is supporting USA quiet by huge amount compared to when they ask if people support team GB.

Attacking wheelchairs are longing and look like they have a scoop at the front. Defensive wheelchairs have great maneuverability.

Sport was originally called murderball.

Commentator led people in the YMCA before the game started.

The place is almost completely full before the game with 10 minutes before the start.

The pommy fans sang along to the national anthem being played.

Full house and sounds like it.

GB scores within 7 seconds. USA answers back 4 seconds later.

When GB scored 2 time, I thought I would go deaf.

4 players per team on the court at any time.

USA had player in penalty box at 7:00.

GB took first time out at 6:41 left.

Like the whole press area is full.

11 for USA got hit, dropped ball and GB converted gor a goal. 2-4 USA with 6:40 left.

6-6 with 4:55 left.

USA has all their men line to defend but GB flanks.

There is a shot clock in this game. USA 5 powers through and scores. USA boxed in a GB player with three players.

GB took time out with 1 second left on the shotclock in order to reset the shotclock. USA uses opportunity to make subs.

GB leads 7-8 with 3:15 left.

USA had 11 in penalty box and GB then scores.

USA ties it up again with 2:37 left.

Big hit sent 9 for GB over. The guy did not have the power to push himself upright. A blue pad came out and they upright him on it.

USA ties it up.

Fans are chanting Team GB Team GB with 1:28 left.

The USA coach and umpire are discussing things, which is causing a delay in the game.

GB leads at end of first 11-13. 2 minute quarter break.

The Pommy bastards are booing the USA.

Lots of fast breaks for both teams where they run the ball down unchallenged and score.

Tied at 17.

USA fns in their corner waves flags and cheer but cannot be heard.

GB has wheelchange at 5:42. Then take a time out.

British fans booing when the score does not work for them.

No score announced and Poms boo. USA is ahead 21-18.

4 for USA lets go of ball and poms get adn fans go nuts. GB then turns it over and USA manages to score.

USA waited for a Team GB player to hit him over the line as USA had 27-22 lead.

USA lead took the home crowd out of it a bit.

End of the half 28-23. At the end, it looked like the USA was toying with Team GB, in that they had the skills and settled enough to just dominate. They had sharp passing skills and got better at utlizing space and GB looked hesitant to hit them with two of their players having gone down and tipped.

Team GB guy tipped again with 4:31 left in third. Team USA did full line change at that point. And the USA is leading 33-25. USA managed to knock ball out of hands of pommy player before he crossed the line.

Team GB fans stll nutty when their fans score.

USA does easy ffast break.

USA continues to score on fast breaks with 35-27.

USA looks like they can score at will. It looks like they are just playing with the Poms.

1:21 and big hit laid on 10 by 13 for GB. USA player went over, first of game to get tipped. USA is leading 38-30.

9 for GB almost went over but kept himself upright.

1 for USA sent to box following that hit to 9. 3 on 3 for both.

Don't know what GB fans are cheering so loudly for with 23.7 left and just scoring. Still down 40-32. USA player is out of box and USA toys with GB before scoring with 1.9 seconds left in quarter.

5:07 left in fourth and Team GB behind 46-37. Some nice goals but they can't defend.

Guy with no hands looked annoyed over some bobbles and not getting a call of help.

USA did get position and then scored immedaitely.

Huge roar when British female player enterted court with around 3:45 left in 4th.

USA coaches are sitting wth players and most in wheelchairs.

Team GB has six non-wheelchair people on their bench with a blue mat separating them and players.

Anthony is the great GB player, who is douing most of their scoring.

USA did another wheel change.

51-42 USA with 2:18 in 4th. Announcer kept saying good defense by GB. Not so much in actuality. Announcer is playing to the home town crowd.

USA changint by USA bench at 1:30. This got a few out. The Team GB fans shut that down by chanting Team GB! Team GB! Team GB!

31.2 and USA bench chanting USA USA again. Shut down when Poms score. 56-43 with 19.9 seconds left.

USA wins 56-44.

Review of revision 1613894 [Passed][edit]

Review of revision 1613894 [Passed][edit]